A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Istanbul vs. Geneva for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Backpackers

Should you visit Istanbul or Geneva?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Istanbul or Geneva, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Istanbul

Istanbul is a historic, diverse, and beautiful city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Geneva

Geneva is a diverse, international, and professional city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

How is Istanbul different from Geneva?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Istanbul or Geneva better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Istanbul and Geneva have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Istanbul that are not to be missed. With such a long and diverse religious and political history, it has many museums, mosques, churches, and archeological sites that you can visit. Some of the most famous sights include the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Sarayi, and the Blue Mosque.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Geneva. Famous sights and landmarks include the spectacular Water Jet, St Pierre Cathedral, and the Palais des Nations. There are also impressive art and history museums in the city.


Is Istanbul or Geneva better for Food?

Picking the best between Istanbul and Geneva can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Known for it's food scene, Istanbul is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. From Turkish classics to sweet desserts the city has it all. Popular dishes include Turkish style pizza, kebabs, and doner, which you'll find everywhere for affordable prices.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Geneva makes for a great culinary experience. The city has an amazing mix of traditional Swiss restaurants as well as diverse ethnic options. Traditional dishes include fondue and raclette, both of which involve the decadent Swiss cheese.

Is Istanbul or Geneva better for Nightlife?

Evening events are similar in both Istanbul and Geneva.

Istanbul has plenty to do after the sun goes down. Dancing, dining, and partying have all become part of Istanbul's culture. Top nightclubs in the city include Reina, Sortie, and Supperclub.

Geneva has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. During the day the city is all business, but at night the professionals, interns, students, and NGO workers all come together to enjoy a drink at a bar or dance at one of the city's diverse clubs.

Is Istanbul or Geneva better for its Old Town?

While Geneva and Istanbul both have old towns, overall Istanbul is more well-known.

Istanbul offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. The Old City in Istanbul is the most historic part of the city. It's where you'll find most of the city's historic sights. The area around Sultanahmet Square is the most popular tourist area to explore.

Many visitors go to Geneva to see the historical old town. The Old Town offers a number of charming streets where you can wander as well as historical buildings including St. Pierre Cathedral.

Is Istanbul or Geneva better for Shopping?

Both Istanbul and Geneva are good shopping destinations.

Istanbul is an extremely popular place for shoppers. It is the capital of culture and fashion in Turkey, and there are many shopping areas that carry all kinds of brands. For a more traditional, but touristy experience head to the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market. For modern brands, Istiklal Caddesi is the most popular area for shopping.

Geneva is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Famous for its posh shops and luxury brands, this city is a popular shopping destination. From chic boutiques to deluxe toy stores, you'll find something for everyone. In particular, the city is known for its Swiss watches, Swiss Army knives, chocolate, and wine.


Is Istanbul or Geneva better for Families?

Istanbul and Geneva are both fun destinations for the whole family.

Istanbul is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has several kid-friendly museums, a couple of aquariums, and fun theme parks.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Geneva. This diverse city has a number of chocolate shops, toy stores, and parks where kids can play. They'll be impressed by the Water Jet and there are few places where you can swim in the lake when the weather is warm.

Is Istanbul or Geneva better for Couples?

Istanbul and Geneva are both fun to visit as a couple.

Istanbul is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples who enjoy history, culture, and vibrant neighborhoods will enjoy a romantic stay here.

Geneva is a nice destination for couples. Wandering Old Town, sampling Swiss chocolate, and enjoying one of the many ethnic restaurants around town all make for great date activities. Fondue in a traditional restaurant is also a not to be missed experience.

Is Istanbul or Geneva better for Students?

Istanbul and Geneva are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

Istanbul is a great city to visit as a student. Students appreciate the city's vibrant neighborhoods, constant activity, and diverse population.

Many students visit Geneva. The University of Geneva attracts many international students and the city is quite diverse. It feels like a mixing bowl of cultures, so students will feel very welcomed and comfortable here.

Is Istanbul or Geneva better for Public Transit?

Both Istanbul and Geneva offer public transit options.

Public transit in Istanbul is top-notch. It has a comprehensive and diverse public transit system that includes buses, trams, minibuses, ferries, funicular, and more.

Visitors in Geneva can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The very comprehensive system includes trams, buses, and boats.


Is Istanbul or Geneva a more walkable city?

Istanbul and Geneva both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Istanbul is very walkable. Although it is huge, most of the neighborhoods that tourists visit are incredibly walkable and pedestrian-friendly.

Geneva is very walkable. Most areas where visitors spend their time can be easily explored on foot.

Istanbul and Geneva: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular old town
  • Less popular with backpackers


Should I spend more time in Geneva or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or Geneva?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Istanbul and Geneva. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Istanbul than Geneva.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Istanbul is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Geneva is 1-3 days.


  • How many days in Istanbul or Geneva? Ideal Length of Stay
    Istanbul 3-7 
    Geneva 1-3

One day in Istanbul or Geneva?

Istanbul is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

The city of Geneva offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Istanbul or Geneva?

Istanbul is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Geneva is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Geneva, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Five days in Istanbul or Geneva?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Istanbul. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Geneva is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that shopping is why people visit. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire area has lots to do.


A week in Istanbul or Geneva?

Istanbul is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Geneva is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that shopping is why people visit. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Geneva or Istanbul?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Istanbul is $48, while the average daily cost in Geneva is $160. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Istanbul and Geneva in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $30
    Geneva $110
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $60
    Geneva $220

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $2.81
    Geneva $7.15
Typical Local Transportation prices in Istanbul

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Istanbul are as follows:


  • Ferry
    $0.17
  • Local Bus
    $0.18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • 2 Ways Istanbul Airport Transfer: $109
  • 2 Ways Istanbul Airport Transfer: $56
  • 2 Ways Sabiha Gokcen Airport Transfer: $56
  • 2-Hour Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Transfers: $500
  • 2m Transfer: $85
  • 4-Day Istanbul City Package including Full-Day Istanbul City Tour plus Airport Transfers: $350
  • 4-Day Wonderful Istanbul Including Accommodation Plus Transfer: $474
  • Air Transfer Lines | Airport Transfer Service: $44
  • Airport Transfer, Hotel Tranfer, Shuttle Service, Taxi Service: $26
  • Airport private transfer to hotel and back: $109
  • Arrival Private Transfers from New Airport IST to Istanbul in Business Car: $123
  • City Center to Istanbul Airport (IST) Departure Transfers: $87

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Geneva

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Geneva:

  • Private Departure Transfer: Geneva Hotel to Geneva Airport: $37
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Geneva to Geneva International Airport (GVA): $39
  • Geneva to Geneva Airport (GVA) - Departure Private Van Transfer: $41
  • Superior Private Transfer from Geneva Hotels to Geneva Airport: $47
  • Geneva to Geneva Airport (GVA) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $68
  • Geneva Airport (GVA) to Geneva - Arrival Private Car Transfer: $68
  • Geneva to Geneva Airport (GVA)- Departure Private Car Transfer: $68
  • VIP Transfer: $74
  • Departure Private Transfer Business Car Geneva City to Geneva airport GVA: $93
  • Geneva Departure Private Transfers from Geneva City to Geneva Airport GVA: $95
  • Geneva Airport Transfers : Geneva City to Geneva Airport GVA in Business Car: $100
  • Private Transfer from Geneva City to Geneva Airport: $100

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or Geneva?

Prices for flights to both Geneva and Istanbul change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Istanbul $12
    Geneva $40
Typical Food prices in Istanbul

Some typical examples of dining costs in Istanbul are as follows:


  • Juice
    $0.12
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.04
  • Dessert
    $0.51
  • Pastries
    $0.09

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Istanbul

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Istanbul.

  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $29
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise Show: $30
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Inc. Dinner and Belly Dance Show with Hotel Transfer: $34
  • Alaturca Ottoman Dramatic Stage Show & Dinner Cruise ( Non - Alcoholic ): $35
  • Bosphorus Dinner & Show Cruise (All Inclusive): $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Show Cruise With Non Alcoholic Menu ISTANBUL Dinner cruise: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise An Unforgettable Experience in Istanbul: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Night Show from Istanbul: $37
  • Istanbul Cruise&Show with Dinner: $37
  • Dinner Cruise on the Bosphorus: $38
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $39
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise with Sema Ceremony: $40

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Geneva

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Geneva.

  • Old Geneva food tour: $268

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $18
    Geneva $23
Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Istanbul are as follows:


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $1.19
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $1.19
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.60
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $1.79

Tours and Activities in Istanbul

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Istanbul are as follows:

  • Just Hagia Sophia Tour /Skip The Lines: $8.71
  • VR Dervish Experience: $10
  • Museum of Illusions Istanbul Ticket: $11
  • Piri Self-Guided Audio Tour: Istanbul, Historical Peninsula: $11
  • Old City Insider Walking Tour: $11
  • Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App: $11
  • Basilica Cistern VIP Tickets: $12
  • Vip Ticket For Hagi̇a Sophi̇a: $12
  • Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque&Hippodrome Guided Tours Everyday /No que / No line!: $12
  • Istanbul LEGOLAND Discovery Center Entrance Ticket: $14
  • SEA LIFE Istanbul Entry Ticket: $14
  • Hagia Sophia: Entry with Guided Tour: $14

Tours and Activities in Geneva

Here are a few actual costs in Geneva for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1-Hour Lake Geneva Cruise: $9.83
  • International & Panoramic Tours Geneva: $27
  • 2-Hour Tour of International Quarters and Old Town: $60
  • Geneva City Tour: $64
  • Annecy Half-Day Tour from Geneva: $80
  • Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise: $82
  • Independent Chamonix and Mont Blanc Tour from Geneva: $90
  • E-Bike Tour of United Nations Square and Lake: $96
  • Photogenic City Photography Tour: $103
  • Chocolate Flavors Walking Tour of Geneva: $108
  • Riviera Montreux, Lavaux UNESCO & Optional Cruise: $118
  • Glacier 3000 Experience and Montreux: $119

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $4.30
    Geneva $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Istanbul

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Istanbul:

  • Daily Tekirdag Wine Tasting Tour from Istanbul: $427

Sample the Local Flavors in Geneva

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Geneva:

  • Seneca Lake Wine Tasting & Tour: $167
  • Farms, Flights: Finger Lakes Brewery Tour: $180
  • Lavaux Panoramic Wine Tour from Geneva: $289
  • Winter ski tour: Wine tasting tour in Rhine region: $746
  • Swiss Wine Tasting at Lavaux Vineyards: Private Trip From Geneva: $1,097


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Istanbul and Geneva, we can see that Geneva is more expensive. And not only is Istanbul much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Istanbul would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Istanbul and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Geneva would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Geneva than you might in Istanbul.

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Istanbul vs. Geneva Travel Comparison

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